AUSTIN, Texas — Republicans in the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee passed child-attacking, anti-trans Senate Bill 29, moving the bill forward to the Senate floor Friday evening.
Desperate to distract from their failures to achieve positive results for Texans, Republicans are now attacking children. Senate Bill 29 is designed to stop trans kids from getting to simply be kids. SB29 would ban trans kids from playing sports on school teams that match their gender identities. This would exclude kids from the myriad benefits of group sports — from health benefits, to athletic and social development, to making friends and being part of a team. Advocates also warn this would allow anyone to accuse and humiliate children by telling them they don’t belong — running the risk of subjecting kids to invasive privacy violations.
Republicans moved the bill forward despite Friday’s compelling testimony from parents, teens, educators, mental health professionals and advocates on the significant harm SB29 will put kids through. Speaking to the State Affairs Committee, a number of parents of trans kids spoke about how their kids just want to live their lives and be kids. Parents highlighted how even hearing this bill is harmful to their children, who see that they’re being targeted and see adults who are supposed to protect them saying instead that they don’t belong. Meanwhile, a teenager spoke up to say that as a trans teen, “sports saved my life.”
SB29 is another reminder that Republicans are more focused on putting Texans in danger and stripping communities of their rights than addressing the issues that actually matter to Texans. The full hearing recording is available here.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“Senate Bill 29 is cruel, dangerous, and goes against everything we stand for as a state. Not one child benefits from Texas Republicans’ anti-trans bills, and no child deserves to be put through the invasive, privacy-violating tests this bill will encourage. All children deserve to participate and play with their peers.
“Right now, Republicans are levying a barrage of attacks against our communities — whether it’s trying to stop kids from getting to be kids, taking a hatchet to abortion access, or slashing the right to vote for Texans with disabilities and Black and Latino voters. They’re firing on all cylinders to attack our rights, yet in crisis after crisis, Texas Republican leaders have left us to fend for ourselves. That’s the opposite of leadership. We won’t forget.”